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Tour information: 

Time frame: 2007

Location: Chivyrkiuisky Bay on Lake Baikal. Tent camping will be set up near the site. Accommodation in tents.

The price: - 250 Euro (transportation to and from site from Ulan Ude, meals and camping equipment, accompanying staff – a cook, a camp supervisor)

Nature work camp in one of the most beautiful hidden corners of Lake Baikal.

The goal of the camp is to renovate the Bolshoi Chivirkui Rangers’ Station of the Zabaikalsky National Park on Lake Baikal. We are forming a group of 8-12 volunteers who are interested in assisting to conduct repairs on the rangers’ station, a strategically important site that is sorely in need of reconstruction. As a participant, you will make a significant contribution to the park and will experience one of the most beautiful and untouched areas of Baikal’s nature.

Why is this project important?

Last year, volunteers from Germany’s DaimlerChrysler and Lufthansa corporations worked in Bolshoi Chivirkui to remove over 100 cubic meters of trash, built a new pier to receive boats, and dismantled old buildings. Now the site is ready for major structural work to restore the roof and main building.

The station was built in 1916 by park rangers as the entrance point of the Barguzinsky Nature Reserve, the first protected natural area in Russia. The Reserve was founded by the order of Czar Nicholas II withBaikal camp volonteer the goal of protecting the sable, which was hunted to near extinction. The first expedition arrived to found the reserve in 1914, and the Bolshoi Chivirkui site was selected for its strategically important location. It has an excellent vantage point from which rangers can observe and regulate activity on Chivirkuiskiy Bay. The location became increasingly important with time. Chivirkuiskiy Bay is now one of the more frequently visited places on Lake Baikal. Close to the station lie the Ushkany Islands, home to the largest colony of nerpa, Baikal’s unique freshwater seal. With nerpa populations declining, the station is an important place for rangers to put a stop to nerpa poaching.

Lake Baikal work campThe Bolshoi Chivirkui Rangers’ Station is an important historical point that is a symbol for the beginning of protected natural areas and thus environmental conservation in our country. Of the four ranger stations built in the 1910’s, this is the only one remaining. However, it is in a state of disrepair and almost non-functioning. If it were repaired and adequately equipped, it would allow rangers to reside in the station on a permanent basis and more effectively regulate activity such as fishing, nerpa hunting, and visitation to make sure environmental requirements are met. Rangers could also serve as guides and resources for visitors and raise awareness of environmental issues among the public. By enhancing park control over the site and tourist amenities, environmentally sustainable tourism can be developed in the area.

Work camp programme:

At work camp Baikal September 18. Departure from Ulan Ude to Ust Barguzin (260 km). Picnic lunch en route. Upon arrival in Ust Barguzin an introductory seminar in the Zabaikalsky National park headquarters. Overnight and dinner in homestay (3-5 persons in one house of local families).
Introductory seminar will include:
- Introduction to Zabaikalsky National Park, featuring wildlife description, history and goals of the park, overview of the park’s day-to day operation etc.
- Explaining project work and role of volunteers.
- Safety tips and first aid.
- Training on setting up a tent camping.

Baikal work camp September 19. Bus drive to the Monakhovo Bay (40 km) to board motorboat and continue to the mouth of the Bolshoi Chivyrkui River (25 km). Set up of tent camp, acquaintance with the site, distribution of tasks and detailed work planning.

September 20-26. Implementation of the work under the supervision of the park’s rangers – station's roof reconstruction, improvement of the site, deconstruction of old constructions etc.

September 27. After breakfast put down the tents, prepare for departure. Departure from the campsite by motorboat, bus transfer to Ust-Barguzin. Overnight and dinner in homestay.

September 28. Departure to Ulan Ude.

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